Welcome to the Carrying Matters website.

Rosie is passionate about helping parents and carers to carry their children; carrying matters in so many ways. The positive effects of close and loving contact are enormous, and investment early on in family life is well worth it. Carrying is connection; it matters to children, their carers, and society. Here you can find everything you need to know about how to carry your baby safely and well, why babywearing is so normal and useful, how to choose a baby carrier, and help for all sorts of circumstances.

carrying children matters

The simple act of connecting with a small person through the medium of loving touch has powerful and long-lasting effects on both child and carer. Babies need to be held close to encourage normal physiological and psychological development, especially in the early months.

Children thrive when they are carried, resilience builds and families flourish when the needs of all its members are met. Carrying is connection; carrying matters!

Read more about why carrying matters here.

carry me daddy

Keeping babies safe in any kind of baby sling or baby carrier is of paramount importance. The first most vital issue is to ensure that baby’s airway is open and unobstructed, with chin off the chest and the ribcage well supported. Babies’ temperatures should be considered too; they are surprisingly warm, and overheating can cause problems. Read more about sling safety here.

beco gemini

Secure attachment to other people is vital to human health and wellness; we thrive on relationship, on belonging. Such healthy attachments are the bedrock to future positive mental health and enjoyable relationships. However, 40% of children lack secure attachments, and are significantly disadvantaged, especially those growing up in poverty, or with a high number of Adverse Childhood Experiences. Encouraging carers to spend more time in close physical contact with their children, is one way to improve the building of positive bonds that last a lifetime.

Read more about the importance of building secure attachments here, and how carrying children in slings can build the resilience they need to thrive despite adversity.

when the time comes to stop carrying

About Rosie

“I am a mum of 2, a family doctor in the UK (a GP), and a passionate advocate of building secure attachment relationships between children and their carers, due to the long lasting effects this has on future health. I believe that carrying children plays a large part in building such bonds, be it in arms or in a sling. With Carrying Matters, I focus on providing accessible information and education about this for parents and the professionals who support them. Sling and carrier use is not a new concept at all; but our Westernised society has lost the communal sharing of knowledge. We are no longer surrounded by a community of people who can help us get to grips with parenthood and share the load, so we need support in newer and more structured ways. This is what I do; empower people to keep their children close in a safe and positive way.”

Her book, “Why Babywearing Matters”, was published by Pinter and Martin in May 2016. It was translated into Polish “Dlaczego noszenie ma znaczenie?” by Nicminiewisi and Lenny Lamb in May 2018.  She has written for a wide range of publications, including Juno Magazine, and has a regular freelance blogging role for Boba (links can be found in the Blog section).

She founded the Sling Pages, an independent website listing all the known sling professional resources in the UK and Eire.

She is a practising GP in the UK with a particular interest in holistic medicine as well as children and women’s health and medical ethics. She began her career in hospital medicine but switched to general practice because of its flexibility with family life and the opportunities it presents to be more closely involved with communities, from cradle to grave. She has two children of her own, who have both been carried happily, and a husband who works alongside her at their local Sheffield premises. Rosie founded the Sheffield Sling Surgery and Library in 2013 and has supported thousands of parents across the South Yorkshire region, helped by a volunteer team of fantastic, committed parents who have found carrying their own children to be life-changing. They all want to help their fellow parents to discover this for themselves!

Rosie developed the “Fourth Trimester” sling meet model with her colleague Lindsay Snow, focusing on the needs of parents with bumps to four months. Families often struggle to deal with the biological needs of their new baby within the confined structures and expectations of modern society, which can be damaging to the building of secure attachments.

The needs of baby and caregivers are both important, as is the mental health and happiness of the whole family. Human beings were not designed to live in small isolated units but in supportive social groupings.

Holding babies close (in arms or in a soft sling) can be a very useful tool for families struggling with mental health disorders, pre, peri or postnatally. The close contact and the soft touch has biochemical hormonal effects that can help to reduce anxiety, improve feelings of wellbeing and connection, as well as lifting the mood. Read more about this here.

You can find your local sling library or sling meet by searching the Sling Pages resource, get in touch with them!

Using a sling (carrier) helps parents to keep their child as close as their biology needs, while also being able to function as adults in a demanding and inflexible world.

rosie knowles

Rosie trains carrying advocates and sling/carrier peer supporters through the Born to Carry initiative, running courses in Sheffield and nearby. She has trained health care professionals, sling librarians, fitness course leaders and interested parents.

She lectures at conferences and gatherings around the UK and Europe about a range of topics, all related to early years parenting and how slings and carriers can make a huge difference to babies, their carers and to society.

“I’d highly recommend any enthusiast to attend this course. I found it thoroughly enjoyable and look forward to being able to use this new knowledge to help more parents discover the benefits of babywearing, as I have.”

“Rosie is a wonderful teacher, very clear and good at explaining. I felt she was well educated in her field and able to answer any question thrown at her. Also very friendly which made me feel comfortable and relaxed in a learning environment and confident to ask questions.”

Get in touch with her here.

2 days ago

Carrying Matters - Dr Rosie Knowles

Good morning everyone! I've been away for a couple of weeks so the Saturday share had a little break... but here we go again! (With some news about BWI below).

It's #slingsharesaturday! #carryingisforeveryfamilyeverychild

This hashtag is to show real life babywearing in normal circumstances: on holiday, around the home, everyday people using their slings in good times and bad, for fun or for survival.

Babywearing is for everyone: every body shape, every gender, every ability, every skin colour, every family structure...

Here's Meghna providing a safe space to sleep for her sleep-regressing child (we've all been there!)
and Helen's partner showing their child the narrowboats on the canal.

Is babywearing for you too? Show the world, and I'll use some of the photos next Saturday! I'd love to continue seeing diversity represented here... more people of colour and other countries and carers and partners and dads and grandparents carrying. After all, babywearing is universal.

BWI in the States have this weekend announced their closure: they've achieved a huge amount in the US. I hope all their chapters of support can find ways to carry on supporting families with babywearing... cos we know carrying and keeping children close makes a difference long term to health outcomes. There is still a long way to go before babywearing becomes truly mainstream, standard everyday practice for every family, every child.... but with grassroots movements and ongoing visibility and continued encouragement to policy makers and working towards a global minimum standard of safety and codes of conduct etc, we will get there one day.

#carryingmatters #carryingisnormal #babywearingisforeveryone #carryingisconnection #everyfamilyeverychild #carryingisforeveryfamilyeverychild
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3 days ago

Carrying Matters - Dr Rosie Knowles

Have you come across the EasyFeel "preschool" giant carriers? Here is one in use with a child in 5-6 year old clothes!We have added two of these superb large buckle carriers from EasyFeel to our collection of options to give to families in need. This carrier is a fantastic option for older children who need extra support, such as those with disabilities or ilnesses, an alternative to a wheelchair, difficulties bonding, or those with special educational needs needing to feel safe from a world that bombards them with too much information to process, and more.
We are here to help; if you're part of the SEN community with a child who has autism, or a disabled older child etc, and you're local to South Yorkshire, do get in touch!
You can refer yourself via our website
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4 days ago

Carrying Matters - Dr Rosie Knowles

The ISARA "The One" has arrived and wow it's soft and cushy! It's very versatile and flexible.. I was intrigued how wide the base can go so my seven year old was happy to have a quick back carry. She was almost completely knee to knee, and it felt really nice for her, she said, soft under her legs. The panel is pretty capacious too; it almost reaches her armpits. The straps feel lovely on my shoulders. Looking forward to trying out with a newborn!!!
#carryingmatters #carryingisnormal #birthtobigkid #isarababycarrier #kneetoknee #wrapconversion #bucklecarrier #wearallthebabies
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